Sherbrooke, QC – A total of 96 per cent of Sherbrooke’s blue-collar workers voted in favour of the conciliator’s recommendation at a general assembly on Wednesday night. The results were read by 20-year-old Samuel Proulx, the youngest of the blue-collar workers.
If Sherbrooke’s City Council follows suit and ratifies the recommendation on Thursday afternoon, workers will have a new seven-year collective agreement that covers January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2014. A deal would mark the end of the strike that started on July 31, sending workers back on the job by Friday, September 9.
Both sides have agreed that the union will wait for the outcome of the City Council meeting before commenting on the content of the recommendation.
“The conciliator’s recommendation was very well received by our members, marking another crucial step toward a speedy return to normalcy. I am so very proud of the blue-collar workers. They are a remarkable group of people and it was truly an honour to navigate through these negotiations with them,” said Michel Murray, the union representative for Sherbrooke’s blue‑collar workers.
“Our members and our negotiating team are both satisfied with the compromise that is about to be finalized. We’re all eager to get back to business as usual. We take great pride in providing the public with outstanding services and that’s exactly what we plan to continue doing for many years,” said Union President Renald Dubé.
Sherbrooke’s 450 blue-collar workers are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 2729. They work in the public service sector maintaining roads and roadside services, aqueduct and sewer systems, recreational centres, parks, garbage collection, eco-centres and domestic cleaning services. The members also include mechanics, engineers, arboriculturalists and horticulturalists.